Sharing is one of the essential life skills every child should learn. Learning to share not only helps them make new friends, but also helps them learn about fairness, compromises, and cooperation. Learning to share also supports the development of their communication skills by learning how to express their needs, wants, and emotions.
If you are looking for a strong educational program based on globally acclaimed educational philosophy, start by looking for an early learning centre near me on Google. These programs provide children with the optimal learning environment and play a significant role in early childhood education, including in helping children learn how to share.
Here are a few ways to encourage your little one to share.
Be a good role model:
Children watch and learn, especially from their parents. Be a good role model and demonstrate good sharing skills yourself. You can start by role modelling sharing often, i.e. “There is only one blue crayon. Would you like to start drawing with it first, and then when you are done, it will be my turn to use it?” or “There is only one banana left. Let’s share it between us”. It will give your child a great example to follow.
Practise sharing in daily lives:
Learning to share is a gradual process and many children only understand the concept of sharing between three and four years of age. It is important to have realistic expectations about your child’s sharing skills depending on their age.
It is a good idea to practise sharing at home with your child. They will learn useful skills that they can apply when they are out in the community. You can start by playing board games that involve taking turns, sharing, or cooperative play. Little Cooperation (Djeco), Zingo! (Thinkfun) or Dinosaur Race (Orchard Toys) are some popular boardgames. Talk your child through the steps, saying things like, “It is your turn now, then it will be my turn”.
Also make sure to teach them easy phrases that they can use to ask for a turn, or to express their wants and needs, i.e. “Can I have a turn?”, “Have you finished playing with the truck?”, “May I play with you?”, “Can we share?” or “I am not done yet.”.
Prepare your child for visitors:
If you have visitors coming to your house, talk to your child about who is coming and what may happen. For example, you can tell them “Your cousins are visiting us this afternoon. They may want to play with you and your toys. They will give them all back before they leave”. It is a good idea to ask them if there is something that they don’t want to share and put it away. This will empower your child to make their own decisions and show them that you respect their space. They may also be more willing to share their other belongings.
In a similar way, have a conversation about sharing before your child leaves for a play date. Explain that they might be able to play with their friend’s toys, but that they should ask and respect their friends’ feelings if they don’t want to share something.
Tell them the benefits of sharing:
Communicate with your children and explain why sharing is good for them and others by giving them real examples. For example, you can say something like “You and your cousins had so much fun this afternoon when you took turns riding the bike!”.
It will help them develop a sense of belonging and understand the benefits of sharing.
Acknowledge your child and others when they share:
For example, you can say, “your friend shared his toys with you at the playground – that was so nice of him!”, or “thank you for sharing the muffin with your sister, that was very kind of you”. Once they understand that it is an important skill, they will feel motivated to keep practising it.
Sharing is an important skill for children to learn, especially before going to kindergarten or preschool. It will help them make and strengthen friendships, practise gratitude, learn to compromise, and cooperate with others.